The world is not short of models for systems change. Many of these models are right and a few of them are useful. The World Business Council for Sustainability (WBCS) has just published a brief on ‘Unlocking systems transformation’ (LINK here) – which falls well into the ‘useful’ category.

The world is not short of models for systems change. Many of these models are right and a few of them are useful. The World Business Council for Sustainability (WBCS) has just published a brief on ‘Unlocking systems transformation’ (LINK here) – which falls well into the ‘useful’ category.

The world is not short of models for systems change. Many of these models are right and a few of them are useful. The World Business Council for Sustainability (WBCS) has just published a brief on ‘Unlocking systems transformation’ (LINK here) – which falls well into the ‘useful’ category.

Last Friday, a client asked me if Davos is “just a talk shop”

For one week in late September, it seemed all roads led to New York, to the 74th United Nations General Assembly (aka “UNGA”)

Partnerships are in fashion. Donors like the idea that, by asking organisations to work together, to share knowledge, expertise, geographical reach and influence- there is the opportunity to create greater impact and deliver more change. Whilst the theory of partnerships may seem simple, the practice is complex. I was recently asked to lead a workshop that would help build a real, working partnership, one capable of working on one of the most challenging issues we all face – climate change.

BRACED (Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters) is a DFID funded programme that supports NGOs to build the resilience of people to extreme climate events. To be effective BRACED demands that organisations come together to share expertise and work together to create sustainable and scalable solutions. However, delivering change takes more than commitment to a shared cause. It takes commitment to one another; it takes good understanding and a clear, shared direction; and this is where Wasafiri came in.

BRACED Ethiopia, a Christian Aid-led partnership between ActionAid, King’s College London, BBC Media Action and the UK Met Office- invited Wasafiri to lead a workshop for them. The aim of the workshop was to develop the shared commitment, understanding and direction that they needed if they were to secure full funding for a 3-year BRACED project and deliver real, lasting climate change resilience in Ethiopia.

The ‘BRACED Ethiopia Workshop’ was held in April 2014 in Addis Ababa. Over four days it was attended by more than 40 people representing key partnership members, local implementing partners, government, and DFID amongst others. Wasafiri created a process that was participatory and action-focused. We created the space for organisations to build the relationships and understanding of one another that they would need to work together. And then to build a plan and structure that meant everyone knew what they were responsible for and how they would deliver their part. At times the workshop was challenging, there were issues of leadership and participation to address, and agreement of tangible outcomes to achieve. However through shared commitment, a willingness to listen and learn and the co-creation of a tangible plan – together we built a partnership capable of creating real change.

“Thanks Wasafiri – a lot of high energy work in a short space of time” (workshop participant)

“…we all were fascinated by the quality of Katie’s facilitation, light, embracing, probing deeper in to the issues and alternative ideas as well as proper time management and eventually amazing results” (Country Director, Action-Aid)

 

STOP PRESS: It has just been announced that the partnership has been shortlisted for 3 years of  BRACED funding from DFID.

For more information on BRACED see here

https://www.gov.uk/international-development-funding/building-resilience-and-adaptation-to-climate-extremes-and-disasters-programme

 

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/ciat/5366738845/”>CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>

The Rwandan Ministry of Natural Resources (MINIRENA) has a remit to coordinate, formulate policy and provide guidance on policy implementation to the environment and natural resources (ENR) sector. The latter is made up of a number of sub-sectors (environment, lands, water resources management, mines and forestry) that provide critical inputs towards poverty reduction efforts within the country, including in rural areas.

Policy implementation in particular is often a daunting task and calls for a dynamic, iterative process that unfolds differently in varying contexts.  One of the key considerations in this regard is the need for sustained capacity at individual, institutional and organisational levels. MINIRENA is a relative newcomer, having only been created in 2011 following a merger between the former Ministry of Lands and Environment and the Ministry of Forestry and Mines. As such, it is still in the process of rebuilding itself.

To assist with this process, UNDP Rwanda commissioned Wasafiri to assess the gaps in MINIRENA’s capacity to effectively deliver on its mandate within the ENR sector. The recommendations which resulted have highlighted specific areas that need strengthening within MINIRENA, which has in turn helped inform UNDP Rwanda programming with respect to capacity building interventions for the next 5 years.